Two separate illustrations of an animal head and a fire on a mountain

Lord of the Flies

by William Golding

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What is Piggy's contribution and insight in Lord of the Flies?

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Piggy's contribution and his insight in Golding's Lord of the Flies? Piggy is Ralph's best friend though they are opposites. Piggy, who has a medical condition that gives him a large head, glasses, and thinning hair is more practical than Ralph. His glasses and big head make him look older than he really is. He does not like the boys who are not civilized and tell him to go away; instead he tries to teach them how to be civilized like himself.

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In a moment of introspection in Chapter 5, Ralph reflects that "Piggy could think.  He could go step by step inside that fat head of his....Piggy had brains."  Ralph realizes that it is Piggy who is the rational element, the "specialist," of their little society on the island. Piggy is...

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anantithesis of Roger "who carried death in his hands" and other boys who, in their disloyalty to Ralph as the leader, become hunters, giving blind allegiance to the more powerful.

In William Golding's allegorical examination of the inherent nature of man in "Lord of the Flies," certain characters represent qualities of human nature.  When Piggy first appears in the novel, he looks more adult than the other boys:  His hair is thinning, he needs glasses, he is heavy, he has medical problems. One of his first remarks is an astonished, "Aren't there any grownups at all?"  For, Piggy realizes that the adult world represents order.  He, then, seeks to bring this order by stressing the importance of building shelters and maintaining the rescue fire, and by summoning the boys to meetings with the blowing of a conch.  In Chapter 5 when the little boys express their fears of the "beast," Piggy replies, "We know what goes on and if there's something wrong, there's someone to put it right." And, in Chapter 8 when the boys are frightened by the beast on the mountain and Ralph feels "beaten" because they can no longer tend the signal fire without encountering this beast, Piggy wisely suggests the obvious:  They can build a fire right where they are on the beach.  He also perceives that Jack is a problem.

However, as the boys remain on the island with no adult supervision, Piggy becomes "in this context...an irrelevance," and other forces, those more savage and brutal (Jack's), supercede the rational.  When Roger, whose sadistic tendencies have no controls of law, releases the rock that splits the head of Piggy, all control and reason is destroyed.  Isolated from the others and fearing his life, Ralph

wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend called Piggy.

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Who is Piggy in William Golding's Lord of the Flies?

Piggy is a well-known character from William Golding's Lord of the Flies. He has a personality which tends to annoy the other boys on the island, particularly when he complains about his asthma. Piggy is described as "the fat boy," and is therefore unable to maintain the stamina needed to complete the physically demanding work of the island. The other boys scoff at Piggy's physical weakness and ostracize him from their group.

Despite his physical appearance and annoying personality, Piggy is perhaps the most intelligent boy stranded on the island. Though the boys dismiss his wise insights at first, Ralph learns to listen to Piggy's counsel. It is Piggy who decides to use the conch, which comes to represent the structure and order of the island. From the start, Piggy accurately assesses the predicament the boys are in, realizing that no one could possibly know that the boys have landed in this particular spot and that their chances of a quick rescue are slim.

Although Piggy possesses intelligence, he isn't a leader. He therefore chooses to align himself with Ralph, whom the boys elect to serve in this role. Piggy provides rational advice to Ralph, who is then able to make decisions that serve the best interests of the group. When the group fractures and most of the boys transfer their loyalty to Jack, Piggy remains faithful to their true, elected leader.

His loyalty becomes a source of conflict for Jack, who wants the complete allegiance of the entire group. Jack thus decides that Piggy must be eliminated, and his group murders Piggy in a violent attack.

I am attaching the eNotes character analysis for Piggy below for your continued study.

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Who is Piggy in William Golding's Lord of the Flies?

Piggy is a character from William Golding's Lord of the Flies.

Piggy is described as an intelligent character and is partnered with the protagonist, Ralph. Piggy does not get along with Ralph's opposite, the antagonist, Jack.

Piggy is different from the other boys because of his medical concerns. Piggy is described as being overweight, with asthma and glasses. His glasses end up being an important object for the boys on the island, because they help light fires on the beach. He is also one of the main reasons why the boys meet on the beach and follow rules to ensure peace; Piggy's character represents science, democracy, and order.

From the beginning, Piggy knew that Jack would pose a threat to Ralph and the civilization they were trying to build on the island. Piggy tells Ralph that

[Jack] hates you too, Ralph. ... You got him over the fire; an’ you’re chief an’ he isn’t. … He can’t hurt you: but if you stand out of the way he’d hurt the next thing. And that’s me.

In the end, Piggy was right. In the final chapter, Jack and his minions lead an attack on Ralph and Piggy's group, the representation of law and order on the island. During this attack, Jack's second-in-command, Roger, pushes a boulder off a nearby cliff, killing Piggy. This event also symbolizes the end of order on the island, as Ralph's government falls apart after Piggy's death.

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How is Piggy important to Lord of the Flies by William Golding and what does he represent?

Piggy serves a few different roles in the story.  One is as the representative of rational or scientific thought.  He is the one of the group that tends to think through things and try to make decisions based on logic when many of the other boys are simply making them based on emotions.

The second important role he fills is that of almost a foil to Jack.  He is the boy that is very smart and knows what "ought" to happen but he lacks any charisma, something Jack has in spades.  So he serves to highlight the differences between the idea of civilization and the hunter-society Jack wants to start.

The other thing he represents is loyalty as he is willing to stick with Ralph and follow him all the way until his death despite not always getting credit for his ideas and often being teased or ignored even by Ralph.

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Who is Piggy in William Golding's book Lord of the Flies?

Piggy is one of the characters in William Golding's famous dystopian novel Lord of the Flies. His name or nickname, given to him by his classmates in school, is a reference to his weight, as Golding describes him as short and fat. But despite this focus on his looks and an otherwise unfortunate nickname, Piggy is one of the most loyal friends throughout the novel. He's quite talkative, and clearly very smart as he is often the one who comes up with many of the ideas that Ralph, the first person he met on the island, successfully executes.

By many literary critics, Piggy is described as the "rational side of humanity" as opposed to some of his other friends being more action-driven. But this difference makes Piggy vulnerable—he is not only fat, but also struggles with asthma and bad eyesight. But since he is of rational nature, he is not as likely to succumb to the mob mentality that the other boys give into; instead, Piggy is adherent to rules and order. He does give into the chaos at the very end, though, which ends in his death.

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Who is Piggy in William Golding's Lord of the Flies?

Piggy is one of the main characters of Lord of the Flies; his character represents rationalism and civilization.

Piggy and Ralph meet at the beginning of the book, soon after their plane crashes. Ralph is a handsome, athletic, sociable, upper-class English boy. Piggy acts as a foil or opposite to Ralph; he is overweight, asthmatic, wears glasses, is of lower class origin, and can be annoying. At the same time, Piggy is good-hearted, responsible, and very intelligent.

Piggy quickly becomes Ralph's second-in-command. Piggy finds the conch and realizes he and Ralph can blow it to assemble the other survivors. He espouses reason and logic and supports deferring gratification in order to do less pleasant tasks like tending the fire. He believes in rules and democratic order, as represented by the conch, which also makes him a foil to the dictatorial Jack.

Piggy is the type of person who invites bullying but he also represents the vitally important virtues of honesty, reason, and concern for the welfare of others.

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